To tell the story that describes the sorry state of water management on the Gilpin Ungulate Winter Range I am sending you a combination of current and past pictures in the Overton Creek watershed, immediately north of Grand Forks.
The dug out pictures past and present beg the question-Why are cows allowed to destroy a water source at a time in our province’s history when water quality and quantity are extremely important to society?
The dugout pictures are in the Overton Creek watershed pasture immediately north of Grand Forks is called Dead Horse. The period of use in theory is May 7- May 21 but cows are allowed to use this pasture May 7 to the end of October.
The Mehmal ranching family owns three district lots totaling 464 acres that are south of Nature Trust’s 174 acres in the Overton Creek watershed and 301 acres in the Morrissey Creek watershed. The Mehmal and Nature Trust Land was never fenced.
The key to both the Dead Horse pasture and the Valentine pasture east of Overton Creek in the Morrissey Creek watershed is Nature Trust land which is a dismal example of range management and an insulting contradiction of why the land was purchased. The pictures I have sent and will continue to send of the 6 ½ acre cow exclosure in Dead Horse pasture tells the story.
Water sample CARO Environmental Services Kelowna June 15, 2007
Dugout Overton/Morrissey Link Road– Total coli forms- 110,000
- E-Coli- 110,000
Any drinking water source or well with general or E-coli coli forms is considered unsuitable for human use. – www.boundaryalliance.org
Rangeland Handbook for B.C. December 1998 British Columbia Cattlemen’s Association
P.163- The protection of soil and water resources must never be sacrificed for other goals.
- 97- Research has shown that cattle having access to good quality water gained 0.5 KG per day while those that watered from a small pond contaminated with urine and feces lost 0.1 KG per day.
The reason why the fence at the east end of Lost Lake Marsh was moved this past spring is well made by the pictures.
Strategically would cow fencing exclosures on Nature Trust land and the Lost Lake Marsh which need to be enlarged connect to the journey that Minister of Environment, George Heyman was mandated to persue by NDP Premier, John Horgan: “Enact an endangered species law and harmonize other laws to ensure they are all working towards the goal of protecting our beautiful province”.
Barry Brandow Sr.